Just wondering what you all thought about this video. It’s regarding OpenIndie’s response to our current distribution woes…
I signed up to OpenIndie, and it seems very promising. The website definitely needs to clear some bugs, but I like it so far. Have many screenings started because of it, besides Four-Eyed Monster?
How long has the website been up?
Hey JC. I really don’t have answers to your questions, though I would love to know. So please let me know if you find out. It’s still in its infancy, that’s for sure, but it definitely sounds promising…
I’m definitely going to consider it as my first feature comes to completion….
‘…and we all make these films…’
you know what I can’t take anymore? ludic-based youtubism thinkbites for white North American nerdboys with prolapsed credit card bills and all the revolutionary angst they can humanly distill from the emotional spectrum of whatever is on their i-pod playlist currently… Godard was right: there are no new waves, only an ocean. And it’s slick with oily distro-jism.
Ouch is right! LOL
I’m not ready to yell and join the bandwagon; however, I do applaud any real effort to make a difference for filmmakers (like me!) who will inevitably have a difficult time with distribution.
The old model really is dead and we are at the infancy of multiple new models. Let’s see if this works….
the old model is evolving, not dead: and all the new models are transitional, dependent on transitional technologies. I say this because I am in a position where I bridge both (many) worlds, and I see different things.
meanwhile there’s now an entire dotcom industry set up for polemic about distribution and funding, feeding on the hopes and expectations of a new generation, falling into the black pit of ‘flock and disperse’ virtual cultures (or as my crew calls them: vultures ). No one read any McLuhan did they?
CONTENT. no one is talking about content, cultures of media ecology, evolution of FORM or ideology.
everyone is talking about digital tech, increasing speed of turnover, hype brand marketing broken distribution / acquisition models and social network.
—the world is staring at the roadkill, and not the road.
You are saying that the people signing up for OpenIndie are very gullible because no one really has a guarantee of the quality of the content? I’m trying to understand…
Exactly – (not an ‘exactly’ to your question Fabulousrice – I wrote the following without seeing your post)
When people do speak of content it comes out in what mostly amounts to grandiose hyperbole; the whole “…we make those films…” rubbish that T took umbrage with – its just a lie. Smoke and mirrors distracting people so he can get away with all the bombastic, yet ultimately empty soundbites he can sputter. For example, his film “Four Eyed Monsters” is a hollow hunk of shit, fool’s gold disguised as a hipster manifesto on all things art, love and life. But really now, take off the rose tinted aviator sunglasses and take another look: piece of shit. He’s so concerned about trying to make some sort of statement with the medium that it becomes the primary message – cue McLuhan… and that is no message at all, that is simply elevating conceptual technique to the pedestal where writing, acting and content used to sit so proudly.
This ‘art’ of rotely regurgitating cinematic platitudes is the Tarantino generation’s attempt to play at the games of thoughtful art. They put all their eggs in the basket of the convergent technologies; iPhones and HD downloads and in the process they’re forgetting to put anything worth spending the time to download within those 1’s and 0’s… This produces a glut of output consisting of recycled ideas from their favorite films; vaguely recognizable “reboot” tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The technology and the delivery is the easy part – move on and focus once again on the content of these films. You can’t have it both ways; invoking a film that perfectly captures the spirit of the 70’s American film movement such as Network is a kick in the teeth to any honest filmmakers out there who are actually trying to say something – Not just worrying with how they’ll present it once they’ve said it.
Its the Cassavete’s equation: make it any way you can – fuck the format – put your fucking soul into it – that’s what matters, that what makes it pertinent, not how it’s packaged after the fact. Now of course, the business realities of this industry require yo to think about those things, but I’m tired of that being primary to this new breed.
It was painful to watch that video, painful to watch his self-serving and ersatz documentary presentation pieces where the camera follows him through the park reciting and inter-cuting lines from Network, trying to fool us into thinking there is a point to what we’re seeing, this irony should not be lost on any thinking filmmaker. It was so obviously practiced and manufactured to look off-the-cuff that it betrayed its true intentions to me immediately – there is cynicism, there is the manipulation of an audience in the worst way. The attempt to come off as an honest prophet was so contrived that he has become the answer to his weak argument right before your eyes.
It is misdirection – they’re part of the lethargy of this new generation of artists, spending way too much time choosing a brush, obscuring their inability to paint well. they’re killing time to prove a point that doesn’t exist, theoretical mental masturbation. Capitalist red-tape as art.
The point is, I’m not here to parrot what T is saying because we work together; we work together because we share a point of view – we read the same bibles and we both whole heartily agree without a single drop of cynicism, that things are soft, out of focus, and everyone is off trying to replace the lens instead of just dialing it into focus right then and there. The old models still work and are still being used, without a doubt they are just evolving which is and always has happened to every single facet of the industry, so old hat. People have just decided to jump on the bandwagon of sounding the death knell so that they can ride into recognition on the back of the “future” and pretend that they have something to say that is pertinent to this future that they’ve manufactured themselves. But its all a sham – they’re worrying about the sky falling in and trying to solve something that does not require such a time-consuming solution… “rage, rage against the dying of light…” The internet has, at this point in its evolution, been streamlined to a point where everything is apparent, everything is easy and there is no need to put as much time defining what it can do if you go about it a certain way, it is common sense. So let’s get back to making thoughtful films instead, shall we?
I will not suffer fools gladly, so let those of us who are ready, focused and talented move on while everyone else is left behind, trying to formulate a step by step way to live that squeezes the most attention out of the rest of the world – I want to play jazz; live in a state of free expression and instinct – after that I’ll quickly burn the song onto a cd and then immediately get back to living it again, performing new songs… simple as that.
The reader’s digest version:
The medium has without a doubt become the message in the most literal ways imaginable now since the “digital revolution” and we’re worse off for it -
T, you’re right, I shouldn’t use such definitive terms like “dead.” I’m simply referring to the current state of things like zero sales at Tribeca last week and, from what I know, only one at Toronto last fall…
And I agree with both you and SG regarding content – that is why I spend most of my time on my script rather than figuring out how I’m going to get my “masterpiece” into Sundance and sell it.
Okay, proposition: since the two of you are so passionate about this, I really believe you ought to write about it in Production Notes. SG, your thoughts above alone can be a Note.
This is very, very important. I’m not sure how much time you spend on other blogs and sites, but this whole pre-marketing, self-distribution stuff is all the rage and we need voices crying out in the wilderness. I first heard about the video above from Ted Hope’s very popular blog. He is quickly becoming a leader and “prophet” to many indie folks….
I’m inclined to agree with Surrealist and T. There is something really disgusting about watching this kid run clips of a passionate scene spliced with instances of himself simpering the same lines at the ground. I support projects like this, which use the Internet to make people more and more aware that they can watch better movies than Jennifer’s Body, but artists should focus on art.
T, you made me think of a nest of baby birds upon reading the word regurgitation. Oh boy, oh boy. I want so badly to discuss the IDEAS of an artist.
I like this thread.
Watching that I initially felt sorry for, then pity for, then disdain for the people in the audience, particularly the ones standing up and chanting. Believing they were a part of some subversive and important moment when they’re just participating in the indie film equivalent of a corporate HR seminar—being told how to act, how to feel, how to proceed.
I think often about the years I wasted in corporate life, but I also think that all those years prepared me to start now, to make the films I want to make now, and to get it done now however possible and to have it shown now however possible.
Great discussion. In honor of this thread, Laura and I are going to go watch Magnolia.
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
Tappy Tibbons says BE EXCITED be be Excited!!
Month of Fury.
I totally agree w/ Josh Ryan on the HR seminar part: That made me feel very strange. Similar to the way I felt when I was dragged to outrageous evangelical churches where the people on stage would begin to “speak” in tongues, and after a while the audience would join in.
Its the Cassavete’s equation: make it any way you can – fuck the format – put your fucking soul into it
I feel that many people of my generation of aspiring filmmakers only go up to the make it any way you can – fuck the format. The put your fucking soul into it has never been a significant enough aspect of their supposedly passionate filmmaking aspirations. I suppose for some people it’s easy to forget why you’re even making a film when it’s so easy to make a film.
I watched that clip in stunned disbelief. How did it come to this? I’ve never seen this gentleman’s film and never will. After watching his pathetically earnest performance on stage, I know that there is not a beggar’s chance that I will find anything of value in anything he makes.
Did I detect the rancid air of petulance wafting off this fellow and his desperate exhortations? The smell of entitlement. I’ve made a film, dammit, and I will be heard! Did anyone else see the unease on the faces of many in the audience? Why were they there? What promise lured them into that space? Does this fellow actually draw an audience on the basis of his work, or was it simply cleverly managed? Was it Tweeted?
Something could be made of looking at the generational linkage: how we’re all complicit in this current situation. How one generation, the generation that was actually supposed to change things, caved in and took their father’s advice, and promise of a job, and dutifully went to work on Wall Street, while others died in a shithole in southeast Asia. The one’s who lived and prospered are now our financial masters. Connect that generation to the generation after, self-proclaimed “slackers”, who felt exhausted before they’d even left the starting gate. “Here we are now, entertain us!” Follow that to this current crop. “Digital revolutionaries”, who speak the language of admen from fifty years ago. What, you don’t really think this is new, do you? Only the technology is new. The language is the same. Read Thomas Frank’s “The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism”.
There is no new wave, only an ocean. And it’s becalmed. And we’re all stalled. And we’re hoping for something, for any bit of wind to set us moving. Maybe what needs to happen is that instead of amusing ourselves with social networks, and communities, we should all seek some serious alone time. Crawl deep into our heads and wrestle with shadows. Come to grips with who we are and why we want to make films or anything else, for that matter. Many will give up and go to law school, or chase after that MBA. And we’ll all be better off.
Month of Fury is right.
Let the ritual slaughter of sacred cows begin.
This looked like one of those episodes from The X-Files were the cult leader leads all the people to drink poisoned kool-aid. Pathetic and nice way of not showing one-clip form his film, an insult to Sydney Lumet if i have ever seen one.
Pardon the naivete, but what is meant by “Month of Fury”? :)
Great thoughts, all around.
K.J., I believe most in the Mad As Hell camp, including their charismatic young hero would argue they have “Come to grips with who we are and why we want to make films or anything else…” That’s why they’re mad – the old guard does not want to embrace them and their films.
Also, though I’m not ready to drink the Kool-Aid, I have to say, I appreciate the energy to do something and the practical, applicable steps OpenIndie has taken. Take me, for instance, I’m currently developing my first micro-budget film so I’m going to need an alternative framework, organization to help me share my film. Not that it’s necessary, but it’s helpful and encouraging as a filmmaker.
BTW, I gave up law school to become a filmmaker! LOL
The old guard has never wanted to make any films that fall outside of one simple category :profit.
If the “old guard does not want to embrace them and their films” then they are simply not economically attractive. NOW – I’m not saying this is right, wrong or anything else – but it is and it always has been – so if they’re naive enough to not recognize this simple fact then they’re worse off than I originally imagined. Every smart independent filmmaker has always known this – they create on their own terms, therefore you pay a price – so the old guard’s role has always been and will eventually be replaced with the ‘new guard’ doing basically the same thing in the future.
These people are not special – nothing they are doing is so ‘radical’ that they are being unfairly excluded from playing the big game – they’re just manufacturing dissent and rebellion so they may preen and pose as ‘revolutionaries’. their ideas are based on petulance if you ask me, nothing more. They’re “mad as hell”? I say misguided as hell. Their anger is a disinformational marketing ploy targeting a very specific demographic, so they’re already well on their way to becoming the ‘new old guard’.
Thank you, Jonathan.
To this: their charismatic young hero would argue they have “Come to grips with who we are and why we want to make films or anything else…” That’s why they’re mad – the old guard does not want to embrace them and their films. I’ll simply say, gee, that’s too bad.
“their charismatic young hero…” What was that about kool-Aid?
I’m curious as to how my fellow teamsters are going to slaughter sacred cows. oh the anticipation is bowel-shaking!
…time to reassemble 5 year old audio collages…again.
Ok, who is the “old guard”? Is Sidney Lumet the “old guard”? or is it “the business”, “the system”? Who is The Man it this case? It’s almost as if there is no auteur cinema, just pure commerce out there. “Manufactured dissent” – well said Jonathan. If you have a voice use it, put it out there, not everything suppose to make money. If you want to be profitable you can’t be revolutionary. Once you are “embraced” you no longer “radical”. So, which is it? … Am I just paraphrasing Jonathan right now….
If the “old guard does not want to embrace them and their films” then they are simply not economically attractive. NOW – I’m not saying this is right, wrong or anything else – but it is and it always has been… Every smart independent filmmaker has always known this
My feelings exactly.
I had a big problem with “we all make these films”. That just creates a awry sense of entitlement in aspiring filmmakers, which already exists within some people. Just because you put a lot of work into making something doesn’t mean that it’s going to be beautiful, good, or even decent, and it definitely does not entitle you to a release. It’s a shame, and it’d be great if EVERYONE could make beautiful films, but that simply does not happen. And I’m not denying that there are some truly great films made that don’t get the opportunities they probably deserve. But not everyone makes beautiful films. Not everyone makes heartbreaking films. You can try, which is important, but you will not always succeed. Who the fuck wants to go to a movie and give the film an ‘A’ for effort?! And Arin’s Eli Sunday audition might, if it hasn’t already, lead people to think that they don’t have to worry about actually crafting a film—just make it, hype it up, and WAIT WITH HOPE that somebody will want to see it.
“Arin’s Eli Sunday audition…” Thank you, that made my day.
But outside of that, YES – spot on mate.
This from the OpenIndie About Page.
“OpenIndie is a site where anyone can discover films they’re interested in, request a screening in their area and put on a screening of any film on the site. Likewise, filmmakers can add their film to OpenIndie, and upload and promote their film via social media. We’ve developed this model with Co-Founder Arin Crumley’s experience of self distribution in mind and believe that this site can not only change the way that filmmakers distribute their films but also help make independent film production a sustainable enterprise. The key to OpenIndie is that anyone can screen any film!
Are you a filmmaker?
Filmmakers who would like to add their film get to build a film profile on OpenIndie where anyone can request or screen their film. Requests create demand which is grouped based on user geo-location. This in turn enables OpenIndie to gauge demand for a film by geographical location, the site uses this information to generate screenings in areas where the film is popular.
If filmmakers choose to upload their film to OpenIndie or specify a URL where a DVD or BlueRay can be purchased (coming very soon), the facility becomes available for anyone to screen that film. This means that whether you’re a group or film loving friends, a film society in a local community centre or a traditional theatrical venue you can screen an OpenIndie film. The final part of the puzzle is that OpenIndie enables those attending or hosting a screening to donate directly to the filmmaker via Paypal. We charge $100 per film per year…